Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Your Perception, Your Reality


It’s been a minute since we’ve been able to talk about a series in the Power Universe. And it’s been a sad, sad time.

Luckily Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 Episode 1 is here to save us from ourselves and get us back into the world we’ve immersed ourselves in for the past 8-plus years.

And look, the original spinoff will just never go out of style. They’ve come back cool and confident and entertaining as ever. I’d even venture to say this may be the series’ best-ever premiere.  

Tariq has come a long way from the kid we met many years ago, coasting around the penthouse and failing miserably to stay out of trouble. He’s long since grown up and shed a lot of the immaturity he once had, choosing instead to concentrate on school, so he can get his money and take care of himself and his family.

But Tariq can’t stay out of trouble. He will perpetually be in mess, whether of his own creation or otherwise.

After an opening sequence that sees a woman get her hand chopped off (which we’ll unpack later), the premiere starts with Tariq back at Stansfield and very off-kilter.

He’s pretty used to being looked at a certain way and letting it roll off his back, but with Brayden expelled and him literally having no place to live, he’s feeling the effects of his various actions over the years.

The one thing in his life that seems to be going well is his relationship with Effie, which probably feels like a significant source of stability for Tariq, which he isn’t used to. His life has been filled with ups and downs since he was a kid, with people coming and going and fires burning all around him.

Effie is a safety net for him in many ways; as someone, he feels he can be more authentic with in a way he couldn’t with past love interests. The thing about Tariq and Effie, though, is that they’re far too alike in a lot of ways, though it feels like, at times, they don’t even see it.

With Effie now at Stansfield, it should be a time for that relationship to flourish, but it already feels fractured when Effie almost immediately puts up a wall and asks for space without asking for space. And I get it, she wants to be more than someone’s plus one, but you can tell so many of her actions are fueled by her guilt.

And poor Tariq (wild to be saying that) has put so much trust in her, not realizing that she’s not honest with him.

While Tariq actually seemed to be coming from a place of concern, tinged with jealousy, when he told Cane to leave Effie out of their business arrangements, Effie wasn’t about to let out of the business, which sets us up for the weirdest foursome in the world to get back in business together.

I wondered how much Mecca’s presence would loom over the series moving forward because so much about him was unknown. His death brought Blanca back, and now it brings Noma, who has an axe to grind with whoever took her lover away from her and took her money.

Mecca was such an underrated villain. He was lying to EVERYONE, not a truthful bone in his body. And now we’ve got Noma crashing into town, chopping off hands in the name of love. Clearly, she has no idea about Monet yet.

Cane was VERY concerned about returning to work and finding a new connect, and then one fell into his lap. But you should always be careful what you wish for because Noma is a wildcard. Sure, she wants her money, but she also looks pretty interested in revenge.

Because the “good” guys on Power are few and far between, it’s nice when they give us a really rich and dynamic bad guy to root against. And Noma is undoubtedly set up to be just that, especially as she ingratiates further into the story and gets a pulse on what was really going on with Mecca.

What’s great about Cane, Tariq, Brayden, and Effie working together is that there are such deep-rooted secrets between them all, and on a show this messy, you know it’s all going to come to a head eventually.

Should anyone trust Cane? Absolutely not. But it’s not exactly like Tariq should be putting his complete trust into Effie or Brayden either because they’ve also lied to his face.

Think about it. Everyone is lying to AT LEAST someone else in the group.

But right now, their partnership is one of convenience, and they’ll have to rely on each other to move such a significant amount of product, especially with the outside heat on them.

One thing I’ve always loved about Power is that someone could just get out of jail or have all the heat in the world on them, and they will still kill someone without thinking twice.

Bash was incredibly cocky for someone who underestimated the hell out of both Tariq and Brayden. Here he thought it’d be easy to scam the kids for some money, but considering his soliloquy to Tariq about how much he’s like Ghost, you’d think he would recognize just how dangerous he can be.

So much of the series and Tariq’s evolution has been about distancing himself from his father. And it’s kind of a moot point now to compare the two and name one better than the other because they are both drug-dealing killers. But Tariq has always had more empathy than Ghost ever did and a less selfish nature.

That’s not to say he isn’t selfish, but his very nature is to protect those he loves first, and I don’t think you could say the same about Ghost because he was always worried about himself.

But this idea that Tariq has implanted in his brain that he’s somehow a much better person than his father is inherently false, as evidenced by the number of dead bodies in his wake.

Tariq is such a compelling main character, much like all the main characters throughout the universe, because he’s a true anti-hero. He’s not defined by his courage or morality but by his greed and narcissism. And yet, do you really want Jenny Sullivan and Blanca Rodriguez to have the last word?

Tariq: Wow, it’s almost like you care.
Tate: Hate when people act like black lives matter until it matters.

I appreciate that Tariq wants to change the narrative about himself on campus, though it’s comical to hear him try to compare Zeke’s plight to his own. Zeke was a decent guy who mostly minded his business and just wanted to ball out and make something off his talent. 

Tariq, on the other hand, is very much the person people think he is.

But he has to do something on that campus to get people to see him in a different light, or he’ll continue to have issues, which will just be another roadblock to securing his future.

Someone whose future was always predestined for him? Brayden.

As a character, Brayden has by far been the biggest surprise. A once-forgettable kind of character, Brayden has earned his place as one of the show’s stars. And with him no longer at Stansfield, it will give him a chance to further expand beyond being just Tariq’s sidekick, which is a good thing for him.

Lucas: If you ever tell him I told you this, I will cut your balls off. Course Correct was genius. If I was still at Stansfield, it’s something I would have thought of.
Brayden: Thank you. Finally.
Lucas: Taking the stand and telling the whole world you created it is less than genius. That was downright stupid.
Brayden: I had no choice.
Lucas: You’re a Weston. We always have choices.

We don’t need a whole subplot of Brayden’s endeavors at Weston Holdings because we don’t need to see that privilege at work on a weekly basis. But it’ll be nice to see what life looks like for him when he’s doing more than what Tariq asks of him.

As close as the two are, it does feel like we may be headed toward a split as some of the secrets start to unravel, namely the whole Lauren thing.

Okay, I always thought there was an excellent chance that Lauren wasn’t dead because we never saw her body, and that’s like TV 101. If you don’t see a body, then there is always a way for the series to find a way to bring that character back somehow.

So, Lauren’s return at the end of the hour isn’t a surprise, but it does call into question so many other things.

For starters, she’s seemingly staying in Jenny’s family home (or something), and Jenny is very much aware that she is alive. However, it’s information she’s not giving anyone, including Saxe. She also claims to have a CI within the “organization,” and while she could have meant Lauren, what if she meant someone else?

What if there is someone actively working with Jenny currently? Who could that be?

Well, Effie, of course! Clearly, she never killed Lauren and has been content not to say anything about it, naturally, but Lauren got into protective custody somehow, and there’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye.

Effie being a rat actually makes no sense to me because that doesn’t seem like what she’d do. She’s also been a steadfast Tariq supporter, but at the same time, she’s built like Tariq in that she looks out for herself. So, if someone backed her into a corner, would she throw Tariq overboard to save herself? Absolutely.

Lauren’s reappearance will throw so much chaos into the world, if for no other reason than the cascading levels of betrayal that are about to rise to the surface.

And that’s to say nothing of some of the information Lauren got that she can now corroborate.

Welcome back, y’all. You can tell this season is going to be bigger than ever.

Everything Else You Need To Know

  • Maybe it’s the long break between series, but I somehow forget how much plot they pack into one hour of this series. It’s a masterful skill to spin so many narratives around, both independent of each other and connected, and make it all feel exciting and important. There’s nothing else like it on television.
  • It’s probably because we know Lorenzo killed Zeke, but tell me that man didn’t have guilt written all over his face the entire episode! Like at all times, he had ‘I killed my wife’s secret child, former nephew’ tattooed on his forehead.
  • Monet is understandably grieving and putting a lot on her shoulders. But at some point, you have to imagine she will flip a switch and start paying more attention to what’s happening around her. It’s so odd to see her so overly out of the loop.
  • Davis has his hands in seven pots, per usual. But it does seem like he will be driven by his desire to save his brother, which will only happen if he can get him out of jail. There is so much here we don’t know, which makes it a struggle to get invested, but I’m hoping this season will change that.
  • Diana going to Stansfield is an exciting development, and I need her to lean into her snitch era. She should be reporting everything she sees back to Lorenzo because he’s the only one who shows her respect.
  • No offense to Everett, but it’s still wild to me that he’s around. I’m all for Dru’s happiness, but there’s just something about Everett I don’t trust.
  • Tate is a great character, but I hope his storyline meshes more with the bigger ones this season. I like the addition of Professor Bennet as a potential love interest, though. They were making major eyes at one another.

Power Book II: Ghost Season 3 is off to a fantastic start, and I have faith it will only get better.

Let me know in the comments what you thought about the first hour and where you see things going this season! And make sure you watch Power Book II: Ghost online so you don’t miss a minute of the action.

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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